Isotopic evidence of boron in precipitation originating from coal burning in Asian continent

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Abstract

The boron concentration and isotopic composition (δ<sup>11</sup>B) of precipitation collected from December 2002 to March 2006 at three sites on the Japan Sea coast were measured. Those sites have been considerably affected by the long-range transport of air pollutants from the Asian continent during winter and spring when the airflows from the Asian continent are predominant. The boron concentration in the precipitation increased primarily during winter whereas the δ<sup>11</sup>B decreased during winter or spring. It is assumed that this decrease in δ<sup>11</sup>B is not associated with a Rayleigh distillation process, because the previous δD values of the precipitation collected at a site on the Japan Sea coast did not decrease in the same manner. A weak correlation (<i>r</i><sup>2</sup> = 0.13-0.24, <i>P</i> < 0.01) was observed between δ<sup>11</sup>B and the nonsea-salt sulfate (nss-SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2-</sup>)/B ratio at each site, suggesting that boron in the precipitation originate primarily from two sources. The first source, which is characterized by high δ<sup>11</sup>B and nss-SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2-</sup>/B = 0, is seawater. At the northern site, the enrichment factor for boron in the precipitation relative to seawater approached unity during winter. This implies that much of the boron in the precipitation is derived from unfractionated sea salts rather than gaseous boron evaporated from seawater. The second source is characterized by low δ<sup>11</sup>B and high nss-SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2-</sup>/B ratio. Most of the nss-SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2-</sup> in the precipitation originates from anthropogenic combustion activities in the Asian continent based on the previous model calculations. Coal accounts for a major portion of the total primary energy supply in China. Moreover, coal enriches boron and represents generally negative δ<sup>11</sup>B values. Hence, we propose that the emission of boron from coal burning is the most likely second source. Thus, boron isotopes may be useful as tracers of coal-burning plumes from the Asian continent.

Journal

  • GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL

    GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL 44(2), 113-123, 2010-04-01

    GEOCHEMICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN

References:  34

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    10026524434
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AA00654975
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    ART
  • ISSN
    00167002
  • NDL Article ID
    10735897
  • NDL Source Classification
    ZM41(科学技術--地球科学)
  • NDL Call No.
    Z53-R488
  • Data Source
    CJP  NDL  J-STAGE 
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